FN SCAR 17 Heavy/Mk17 review with a Green Beret and Chris Bartocci (Accuracy with Federal GMM 175gr)


in this episode of 9 Hole Reviews, we
look at the FN SCAR 17s, or SCAR Heavy we also hear from a US Army Special
Forces commander and his thoughts on running operations with this rifle… and
small arms development specialist Chris Bartocci from Small Arms Solutions
talks about general issues that the SCAR 17 platform runs into… in a parking lot now let’s get on with it SCAR stands for soft combat assault
rifle or Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle. Yes indeed it’s an
acronym within an acronym for a rifle that was developed at the Special
Operations Command’s request to develop a new family of rifles. The SCAR is one of
FN’s flagship products It is a short-stroke gas piston operated rifle
system that was designed with portability and ruggedness in mind. The
variant spanned from personal defense weapons assault counter sniper and designated marksman rifles the scar is also chambered in 5.56 nato and 7.62
nato the scar heavy was specifically designed to replace the m14 m 21 and m
1/10 weapon systems almost universally the initial shock value of picking up
the scar heavy is a lack of weight at 7.9 pounds with nothing on the scar
heavy is almost the same weight as a loaded m16 a to the fires a full sized
7.62 nato cartridge the scar retains the m16 style pistol grip magazine release
bolt hold-open and yet the folding stock is adjustable
for comb height and the length of pull the rifle comes standard with an
adjustable gas block to accommodate increased back pressure from suppressor
use. This particular rifle has a Geissele trigger installed, as the original
trigger is said to be very… plain A Kinetic Development Group rail had also
been added to the front, eliminating the original picatinny rails, and further
slimming down the rifle’s grips the gas block mounted front sights flip
out of the way, but perhaps the most controversial part of the rifle is the
reciprocating charging handle but we’ll the SF operator explained that later on
in this clip. Since this was designed to replace some pretty significant
designated marksman rifles in the arsenal, we were naturally most curious about it’s accuracy topped with a Trijicon 1-6 Accupower scope, it was easy to clock the rifle’s potential. We ran two
types of ammunition through the rifle First it was a Federal Gold Medal Match
175 grain a standard staple for long range applications. At 100 yards the gold
medal match clocked an 8.952in 9-hole group, a very
respectable grouping for a semi-automatic rifle. Subsequently when
we tried some Israeli 168grain match ammunition optimized for semi-automatics,
we were sorely disappointed the IMI delivered a 9-hole group at
the same distance and are very disappointing 2.245
inches that’s barely over 2 MOA for close handling, the rifle performed
very well despite the full power cartridge running through the
lightweight rifle, it is very easy to shoot this was partially due to the primary
weapon systems muzzle break and later swapped out for a surefire SOCOM muzzle
break I should add that the concussion from those two muzzle breaks gave a very
“uncivilized” experience to whomever was shooting or observing right next to the
rifle however with a Surefire Warden attachment on the end it does help
mitigate the significant amount of concussion
despite the positives there are issues one very unlucky coincidence was that
the SCAR 17s receiver design was able to hit harmonics and has earned its
reputation of a scope killer in the beginning days a lot of problems with
the optics because of the base of the tuning fork action of the upper receiver
what it’s doing is actually destroying the optics inside of it but also any
electronics like if you were to have a night vision in there? DEAD. Just that
that vibration would destroy the electronics in there as well it’s any
kind of laser product be ok but any kind of thermal any kind of night vision any
kind of true optic like first this I have on mine I have an Elcan Spectre
which Elcan and says that they consider theirs SCAR-rated. the SCAR
won’t destroy it. most optics get as few as 100 rounds or as more as a few
thousand rounds it’s a it depends on any individual optic and that was the thing
that the guys at [NSA] Crane noticed One of the mounting guys came up with a solution
with the shock absorber to try to prevent that from being a problem
(did it work?) It did, but they never adapted it. It was too expensive. I see…
We recommend purchasing mounts that are specifically SCAR-rated and quality
optics. So on that notes we turn to someone with much more field experience
and ask for his thoughts on the SCAR 17 enter US Army Special Forces Maj. (ret)
Western Amaya… I was a team leader in the US Army Special Forces Green Berets
detachment commander for an ODA or Operational Detachment Alpha. For me
personally, it’s an awesome weapon. As far as reliability,
durability and functionality goes, it’s to me the gold standard. For most guys in the Special Forces
I think they’ve they’ve come around to it it’s kind of been a slow progression…
initially it was met with a lot of resistance just like any change to any
organization. I’d say it was probably a 50/50 off the bat. There is a very
specific tactical employment for the SCAR it can in my opinion take the place
over the M110, subbed out for a belt-fed system, if it’s a quick target you just
need some 7.62mm punching power to punch through walls, to reach out and touch
somebody beyond what the effective range of the 5.56mm, the SCAR is able
to do that very well. That being said there are some specific drawbacks.
obviously the loadout for an assaulter is much heavier with the SCAR in 7.62mm loadout versus a 5.56mm load out so it’s a trade-off between
terminal ballistics versus kit weight it’s considerably heavier and you’re not
able to bring as many rounds to the fight however it’s still a huge
advantage when you compare it to a Mk48 or M240b One of the downsides of
this rifle in my opinion is is actually the charging handle it moves as you
shoot. This is obviously by design It’s very functional, you charge it with two
fingers you can charge it with no hand you can charge it against the wall if
you have to… but the way that it moves as you fire is actually a liability because
it can get impinged upon a lot of things A lot of times when you find yourself in a
firefight you take cover behind whatever you can and sometimes it is on an
awkward position or it is a very small cover and you find yourself manipulating
your rifle into a position that is less than ideal just to fire from basically
any part of the rifle could be touching the ground touching a wall anything
that’s moving on the outside of the rifle is likely to get it pinched at the
worst possible moment. This is the first time I’ve seen this rail system on the
SCAR heavy it’s a it’s a very functional it feels a bit lighter it ran very well like
something on this on our SCAR heavy on the team for sure I think I personally
wouldn’t do on this weapon is the pressure switch on the tactical light. I’m
not a believer in pressure switches at all, especially having one
right on the grip to me it’s a liability if you’re talking about shooting that
and you nick it on something or you get a little fidgety and and the white light
goes off because it’s right under your thumb… no big deal in a shooting match, but in a tactical environment it’s not ideal because you want to be very deliberate
with your white light. White light AD in a dark room this puts you at risk your
team at risk. You let yourself give away your positio. The other thing that I
don’t necessarily like about this setup is having the weapon light on the
outside of the rifle. I basically like to have the outside of a my own rifle it’s
slick as possible fewer things to get hung up on when you’re coming through
your narrow doorways or coming out of a vehicle or anything like that where the
space is confined. For me personally I would have mounted the light on the
shooting side, on the left side of this because I’m right-handed and no pressure
switch just a regular end cap where I could manipulate that with my thumb There are guys out there on on message boards and blogs that claim a specific
weapon system is clone to the exact setup of a special operations unit in SF we have a saying “if it’s stupid but it works it’s not
stupid” so no matter what someone may argue about someone’s setup of their kit
or their weapon system, if they’ve trained with it and that’s what they’re
comfortable with and that’s how they shoot well then it works for them and no
matter how stupid do you think it looks or how not “clone to specifications” of
what you assume is what an SF guy or Delta Force guy or a Navy SEAL uses, it’s
not stupid if it works for them to say that you could clone a Special Forces
guys individual weapons system is like saying that you cloned a Green Beret’s
beard… everyone’s is different and everyone kind of uses what works for
them. Many team guys will buy their own foregrips their own buttstocks
their own pistol grips their own optics even sometimes based on what
they’re used to shooting and what they found works for them. Overall it’s a great weapon system to have in the right conditions later after the cameras were
switched off we asked Maj. Amaya if he would ever purchase ask a SCAR heavy for
his personal use, the good Maj simply responded, “yeah if you give me $3 grand”
And there you have it a rugged, accurate yet nimble rifle that was designed with
specific purposes in mind the SCAR 17 is a phenomenal rifle indeed but perhaps
with an even more phenomenal $3,499 MSRP Thanks again for tuning in to
another 9-hole review video I’d like to also extend our gratitude to Clear
Advantage TV for letting us borrow their rifle we’ve enjoyed testing the FN SCAR
and we really look forward to shooting some more Until then we’ll see you on
the range!

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